Totally, totally excited about the prospect of a weekend in Batumi (on the border of Turkey, by the Black Sea), and counting down the hours until the overnight train leaves at 10pm tonight. This will be my first time on a train in Georgia, and also the first time in my life to be on a sleeper train. I’m a little hyperactive with excitement right now, and also after a brilliant day at school with the kids. Its going to be a pretty hectic weekend, researching and writing my travel guide to Batumi, and meeting people, but its more than worth the bags I am sure to accumulate under my eyes, and if the weather is warm, it will be perfect! I plan to swim in the sea as much as possible, and also to show my friend around a bit, as she has never been to Batumi before. Its also a chance to meet with the owner of the Aquarium and brand new Dolphinarium, and to talk about my ideas for the ‘BBC Oceans’ project at school, and to meet with some scuba divers.
Here are some clips of the BBC Oceans series for those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, and also so you can see Presenter Paul Rose, who will be coming over to Georgia to work with the children:
On the subject of oceans, its about time that I gave you an update on Sarah Outen and Roz Savage. Sarah is currently cycling across Russia and on to Kazaghstan, having come through the Ukraine, please check out her blog if you get a chance (http://www.theblueproject.org/1636). Whilst Roz is on day 16 of her solo rowing expedition across the Indian Ocean, and you can check out her blog here: http://www.theblueproject.org/1637
So, back to school, and some strange green children wondering the corridors! Basically, the first time I saw a child with bright green on his face, I really thought that he had been chewing a pen that had leaked and stained his chin green. I am thankful now, that I never approached him about this, and that I made no efforts to tell him he had something on his chin!! No wonder the other children seemed nonplused about his appearance! Sometimes, I feel like such an alien! Since that time, I have noticed this a lot on children of different ages, and having grown more worldly wise, I have realised that this is actually some kind of medicine that is put on the skin when there is a kind of ailment!! I feel incredibly stupid now I realise the error of my ways, but I am still none the wiser as to what this green stuff actually is, or how it works! When I was working with the shaman in the Amazon Jungle, I saw how they used the sap from a tree (Dragon’s Blood Tree) and applied this to all sorts of cuts and grazes, wounds, and also in child birth to stem the bleeding, but this was a lot less obvious, and not as nuclear green as what the kids are wearing. But it is still strange to me all the same.
It seems that, as in England, the warm weather has led to an incremental rise in broken arms amongst the general population, (either that or it is the new fashion to go around in a plaster cast). I have on average two kids per class with arms in plaster, and on the street, every 40th person probably has a cast on, and the most ridiculous little sling ever, made from bandages. The plaster casts are very different from what I used to from my hospital work in the UK, and I often wonder about how the quality of the casts affects healing, and how much training is given for casting in set positions. In the UK, the nurses must first learn the theory, then watch then being applied, then practice under supervision, and finally practice a certain number, before being allowed to cast patients on their own. In Georgia I have seen less long arm casts, but a lot of short arm and spica casts, but they always look incredibly flimsy, and people do not seem to wear them for the usual British 6 weeks that I am familiar with. But no one seems to mind, or to suffer, so they must be pretty good. If there are any foreign nurses in Georgia, or Georgian nurses, I would love to find out more about how the casts are done here!